Today's News: Our Take


BACK TO THE FUTURE

It's official: Buffy sire Joss Whedon has signed a deal with Universal to turn his short-lived Fox series Firefly into a feature film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon — who will pen the script — will make his big-screen directorial debut with the project. Shooting is expected to begin in early 2004, and it's Whedon's hope that the show's original cast will return. read more

ABNORMAL DAY

Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes captured five Latin Grammys Wednesday night, including album of the year for Un Dia Normal and record and song of the year for "Es Por Ti." The Miami-based ceremony kicked off with a rousing tribute to late Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz. read more

CHANGE IS GOOD

If this music-acting stuff doesn't pan out, Hilary Duff may have a future as a fortune teller. At last week's MTV VMAs, the erstwhile Lizzie McGuire predicted that her first solo album Metamorphosis would debut at No. 2 behind Mary J. Blige's Love & Life. And guess what? Duff was right! Blige's latest CD entered Billboard's album chart at No. 1 with sales of 286,000 copies. Duff's Metamorphosis, meanwhile, finished a close second with 204,000 copies. read more

SHELLED

Wannabe California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was hit in the head with an egg Wednesday as he arrived at a campaign rally in Long Beach. But the Terminator star shrugged off the attack, joking, "This guy owes me bacon now." (Where's Bruce Vilanch when you need him?) read more

JUST CAST HER!

Here's some "TV News" scoop from next week's issue of TV Guide magazine (on sale Monday): Just Shoot Me grad Wendie Malick has been cast on Frasier as a love interest for Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and his dad. In the multi-episode arc, Malick will play Frasier and Niles's childhood baby-sitter, who, upon becoming reacquainted with the Crane clan, gets caught up in a love triangle with Frasier and Martin (John Mahoney). "It ultimately becomes a competition between the two of them," says exec producer Joe Keenan. "It's classic Frasier." read more

TOWERING DEBUT

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers earned a record $23 million during its first five days on rental store shelves, Video Store magazine reports. That surpasses the previous rental record set by The Bourne Identity, which last January grossed $22.8 million during its first five days in stores. read more

COLLATERAL CASTING

Jada Pinkett Smith is in talks to star opposite Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx in the upcoming thriller Collateral, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the film, Cruise stars as a contract killer who forces a cab driver (Foxx) to chauffeur him around on a series of hits. Pinkett Smith would play Foxx's love interest. read more

JOE SCOOP!

Fox's much-anticipated Joe Millionaire sequel will air twice a week this fall — Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 pm/ET — beginning Oct. 27, the network confirms. The second helping of Joe replaces American Juniors, which was banished from the schedule after its dreadful performance this summer. There's still no word on what Joe's twist will be, although the New York Daily News speculates that the second edition will use women living overseas who were unfamiliar with the original. And the Hilton sisters. read more

KISS AND TELL

Britney Spears says her parents got a kick out of the sapphic smooch she shared with Madonna at last week's MTV Video Music Awards. "My mom liked it actually," she tells Access Hollywood. "And my dad, weirdly enough, thought it was fine, too." (That's dirty.) On CNN's Crossfire Wednesday, Spears admitted that she didn't know the kiss "was going to be that long... I have never kissed a woman before. Would I do it again? No. Oh, maybe with Madonna." Next thing you know she'll be applying for a Home Depot credit card. read more

BAD BREAKS

Actress Raquel Welch, 63, was hospitalized after suffering multiple arm fractures in a car accident over the weekend in Beverly Hills. In related news, Cameron Diaz spent her 31st birthday Saturday nursing a broken nose she sustained while surfing in Hawaii. Diaz was allegedly smacked in the face with someone's surfboard. (Geez, Brit. Try and be more careful next time.) read more

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